Uncle Sam wants you! The Justice Department has proposed hiring at least fifty new lawyers to bolster its civil rights division. Attorney General Eric Holder is planning to reshape the division, bringing it into the forefront of fights in which there is a disparate impact on minorities. This is a sea weather change from policies enacted under former President George Bush, when the civil rights division focused on individual cases in which there was evidence of intentional discrimination.
The New York Times has reported that 236 civil rights lawyers, in a division that normaly employs 350 attorneys, left the Justice Department between 2003 and 2007. Many of their replacements had little or no experience with civil rights law but are now protected by civil service laws.